Gospel Reflection for the Sixth Sunday Ordinary Time – Year B – February 15th 2015
Full scripture for this Sunday is available on the Catholic Ireland website. Daily Scripture is also available. Our parish Prayers of the Faithful for this Sunday are made available on the Dublin Diocesan website.
A leper came to Jesus and pleaded on his knees: ‘If you want to’ he said ‘you can cure me.’ Feeling sorry for him, Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him. ‘Of course I want to!’ he said. ‘Be cured!’ And the leprosy left him at once and he was cured. Jesus immediately sent him away and sternly ordered him, ‘Mind you say nothing to anyone, but go and show yourself to the priest, and make the offering for your healing prescribed by Moses as evidence of your recovery.’ The man went away, but then started talking about it freely and telling the story everywhere, so that Jesus could no longer go openly into any town, but had to stay outside in places where nobody lived. Even so, people from all around would come to him.
Mark 1: 40-45
Any story involving leprosy is a story of inclusiveness with Jesus. The people whom nobody wanted were deep in his heart. Jesus wanted to make his life better and in this case, the man was cured. It was spoken about all over the area he worked in. The news spread of this new religious man, a prophet maybe, but one who went where nobody else would go.
Home in our hearts
Jesus sees into the heart and there he finds a home, because God his Father lives in each of us. His motivation is his deep relationship with all of us. He will cleanse any of the unacceptable sides of ourselves so that we see ourselves as image of God, forgiven and clean. Can we see others like that?
Who would be those he would reach today like this? Maybe the people who want to change their lives from condemnation by self and others. we can name them often, and our society can be cruel on prisoners and their families, abusers of any sort, prostitutes, victims of AIDS and many others. God only wants that we want to do good, to change our lives and then he looks for us like the lost sheep. He offers a way out of condemnation and that is often through the goodness and care of another.
This is also the tenderness of Jesus; the one whom the man with leprosy would trust would not do him wrong. Like the tenderness of the mother welcoming the child home.
Jesus, healer of souls, heal what keeps me from loving like you.
Donal Neary SJ